Sunday, June 15, 2014

Retro Sunday - June 15, 2014 - Excitebike 64

Today is Sunday, which of course means we play video games. Which is the same as every other day. But this one is special. Because we play old games. But not just any old games. Good old games. Today's selection: Excitebike 64.

One of the highlights of the N64 era is Excitebike 64. It's a remake of the classic Excitebike for NES. The hallmark of Excitebike is that you can use a boost, but if you use it too much, your bike will overheat and you won't be able to do much for a few second. But this game is more than just a remake. It has a ton of new modes. In addition to full 3D tracks, there is an endless desert track, a challenging hill climb, a stunt track, and soccer. Yes, you read that right. Plus, just like the original Excitebike, there is a level editor.

The built-in levels range from simple, indoor dirt tracks to giant tracks in exotic locations. Naturally, all of them are playable with up to four players. So you can race each other on the simple, but exciting dirt track in Houston, or take the bikes outside for some ridiculous jumps at the gravel pit. Don't forget to jump over the train!

The extra modes in Excitebike 64 really make the game. Get tired of the original tracks? Make your own! Tracks too easy? Make some ridiculous dirt hills that are almost impossible to clear. Seriously, you can make completely absurd.

Then, when you need a good challenge, try your hand at the hill climb. You won't make it. Trust me. Then, roam around the desert for a while. Or forever. Because you can if you want. Or hit the stunt track and impress your friends yourself. Or, you can play Excite 3D, which is an Excitebike NES-style level, complete with drone racers and insane jumps.

Then, if you have four people present, play some soccer. Drive your bikes around a giant soccer field and try your best to guide a giant soccer ball into the goal. It is beyond ridiculous, but it's endlessly entertaining.

This is a game I've been playing on Sundays since the game was released years ago. It has a high learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it is near-endless fun for you and up to three other people.

So if you don't mind, I'll going to attempt the hill climb and fail. Then play some of my favorite tracks and succeed. Then create a really stupid level and laugh. And then, when the sun begins to set, I will race off into the desert, never to be heard from again.


Anonymous said...

Wooot woot! Another awesome retro game ! :) Do they have this game on the virtual console?

benjamines said...

Strangely, it's not available on VC. That could be because it was developed by Left Field Productions, and sometimes it's hard to secure the rights when games are developed by other companies. We may never know for sure.